The Department of Merchant Shipping (the “DMS”) is currently in the process of drafting new Law and Regulations with regards to pleasure yachts below 24m. This is noteworthy since the current Law has been in force for 25 years, since 1992, whereas the Regulations have been in place for 18 years, since 1995.
As mentioned, the new Legal framework will apply to all pleasure yachts below 24m.
The drafts of the new Law and Regulations are expected to come before the Parliament for approval in November and will contain significant changes to the current legal framework. The proposals made by the DMS and the drafting of the new Law and relevant Regulations will follow extensive consultation with society, members and affected parties (such as owners, associations, professionals, engineers, importers) and the competent authorities/associations.
The new Regulations are said to contain provisions for marine casualties and will apply to sailing yachts for the first time. There will also be changes as to the possible penalties imposed. An important amendment is also the requirement for candidate captains of the yachts to be trained under a specific training program.
The new Regulations will replace the existing pleasure yacht Regulations, and are said to fill in any existing gaps in the law.
We shall keep you updated as to any progress.